News Release

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

NIH again recognized by AARP as a top employer for workers over 50

For the second straight time, AARP has ranked the National Institutes of Health as third in its Best Employers for Workers Over 50 list.

AARP recognized the strong benefits enjoyed by all federal employees, but applauded NIH for going above and beyond. No other federal agencies ranked in the top 50 list in 2011.

The NIH has been on the Best Employers list since 2008. The NIH was the first federal agency to be ranked in the Best Employers, and has been on AARP’s list since 2008, finishing third in 2011 for the second competition in a row. Forty-three percent of NIH employees are age 50 or over, with an average employee tenure of 15.25 years.

The NIH’s strong commitment to readying workers for retirement was a chief factor for AARP. Many offices at the NIH, including the NIH Training Center, the NIH Credit Union, the NIH Benefits Office, and the Recreation and Welfare Association provide a wide variety of resources to help employees make informed financial decisions as they near retirement.

Exemplifying this are NIH’s quarterly financial seminars, which offer NIH employees guidance on estate planning, strategic college funding, Thrift Savings Plan investing, Social Security, and tips for investing and fraud avoidance. These seminars also allow employees to get answers to their specific retirement-related questions.

The strong employee-focused culture of NIH was another feature that rated high in AARP’s analysis. Employees at all stages of their careers have opportunities to receive training, and some are mandatory. These include tuition reimbursement, certification classes, in-house classroom training, online training, commercial training, professional conferences, and student loan repayment programs. AARP noted that 100 percent of employees had participated in at least one of these opportunities.

AARP also cited NIH’s commitment to employment diversity. The NIH participates in various recruiting events, including the AARP-sponsored Senior Expo-Baby Boomers Expo, as part of a drive to hire a diverse workforce. Once hired, the NIH provides a variety of workspace accommodations for workers with disabilities, such as computer software, and workplace changes.

The availability of workplace flexibilities for all NIH employees also impressed AARP. Many NIH employees are eligible for alternative work arrangements, telework, and other flexibilities that help NIH employees better manage their work/life balance.

About the AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 program: AARP awards businesses and organizations that have implemented new and innovative policies and best practices in talent management. These organizations are creating roadmaps for others on how to attract and retain top talent in today's multigenerational workforce. To see the full list of 2011 winners, visit:

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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